Way of the Morris (12A)

  • 12A
  • Rob Curry, Tim Plester (2011)
  • UK
  • 70 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Morris dancing is often more the stuff of mockery than a serious folk tradition. But, as actor/writer/director Tim Plester discovers in this affectionate and instructive documentary, there's more to prancing around in bells, baldrics and black top hats than meets the eye. Having resisted the urge to follow a family tradition and join his native Oxfordshire team, Plester is persuaded to dance with the Adderbury Village Morris Men after their pilgrimage to the Somme to pay tribute to the locals whose senseless slaughter during the Great War helped curtail a centuries-old tradition that was only revived in 1975. More could have been made about the split into rival sides and why leader Bryan Sheppard adheres to dances collected by local folklorist Janet Blunt, but Plester's growing realisation of the cultural and communal significance of Morris and the contributions of singer Billy Bragg and Fairport Convention's Chris Leslie make this as affecting as grandfather Harold Plester's old home movies.

Plot Summary

Documentary exploring the cultural history of morris dancing. Film-maker Tim Plester joins a group of dancers from his home town of Adderbury in Oxfordshire as they visit the Somme to perform a tribute to the casualties of the First World War. Featuring contributions from Billy Bragg and Fairport Convention lead singer Chris Leslie.

Cast and crew

Cast

Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg
Will-O'-Wisps
MyAnna Buring
Chris Leslie
Chris Leslie
Tim Plester
Tim Plester
The Adderbury Village
The Adderbury Village Morris Men
Creation
Donald Sumpter

Crew

Director
Rob Curry
Director
Tim Plester

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Fifth Column Films
Available on DVD
Released 9 Sep 2011
Categories
Documentary
Music